Tebow Debut Impressive, Human

For most of his first half game as a starting quarterback, Tim Tebow looked every bit the combination of Peyton Manning, Jim Brown and Mother Theresa many had viewed him as. The sophomore ran Florida's spread offense flawlessly, leading the Gators to four touchdowns in as many possessions.

But just as the deification of Florida's wunderkind QB was about to take place something surprising happened. Tebow turned Florida's fifth possession into a clinic on what not to do as a quarterback in this (or any other) offense.

It started off well enough with a par of completions putting the Gators in Western Kentucky territory yet again. But a funny thing happened on the way to the end zone. On first down, Tebow telegraphed a short slant to the wide side of the field, and it was almost picked off. On second down, Tebow ran the option play and didn't see Western Kentucky move up on the edge. His pitch went wild and would have been a turnover if not for a terrific play by Louis Murphy to double back and fall on it. Then to finish off the series of downs in style, Tebow let the play clock run out, setting up a third-and-20 play.

Quick Recovery

The second half began with another poor possession for the Gator offense with Tebow missing a wide open receiver on third-and-long. The score stood at 28-3 and the Gator offense needed to get back on track.

It did.

Florida's next chance came from its own 2-yard line following a poor decision not to field a punt by Jared Fayson. Three Kestahn Moore runs earned a new set of downs, and then Tebow burned the Hilltoppers' secondary on consecutive deep throws down the right side. First it was 43 yards to Bubba Caldwell who earned a draw with the Hilltopper defender to put the ball into Western territory. The next swap was the second TD of the day from Tebow to Riley Cooper.

Tebow finished the game with a solid performance, connecting on all but four of his 17 passes for 300 yards and three touchdowns. The first four possessions were impressive as was bouncing back from two poor ones to put two more scores on the board. Western Kentucky may not be the weakest defense he'll face this year, but it's probably close to that. He will have to be even better for SEC defenses, which will provide tighter coverage of Florida's gifted receivers and more pass rush on the young signal caller.

Still, it's all about the "W" and Tebow continued a Gator tradition in that he posted a victory in his first start at quarterback. No Florida signal caller has lost his first start in a very long time. How long? You have to go back to Donald Douglas against Auburn in 1989.


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